Kris Boeckmans is out of the induced coma he was placed in following his Vuelta a Espana crash, his Lotto-Soudal team confirmed last night.
The Belgian rider suffered a lacerated lung and pulmonary swelling after being the worst-affected of the riders to go down in the huge crash which marred stage eight of this year’s race.
He had been in a medically-induced coma since, but doctors have now been able to remove the drain in his lung, tracheotomy tube and reduced and then stopped the anesthesia.
A short team statement said: “The above steps were carried out without any complication, Kris is therefore out of the induced coma yesterday.
“Doctors have again performed to control a detailed scan of the entire body in order to identify possible lesions not yet diagnosed. No other injury than those already identified were found.
“This positive development resulted in Kris is able to talk calmly to his family and to present physicians. It remains in the intensive care unit to be monitored continuously.
“In a few days, Kris will be repatriated with the help of a medical aircraft, accompanied by a doctor and the necessary equipment to be transferred to a Belgian hospital.
“Rib fractures should heal in a natural way. The lung injury also need time to develop positively. The fractures on the face will be treated surgically in Belgium after consultation and analysis.”
Tejay van Garderen broke his collarbone in the same incident, while Daniel Martin and Nacer Bouhanni also quit the race after the crash.
Jasper Stuyven went on to win the stage, but he too was forced to quit afterwards having suffered a fractured scaphoid in the same incident.
Boeckmans, 28, had been enjoying his best year to date, winning the Tour de Picardie, World Ports Classic and Nokere Koerse-Danilith Classic.